Laughing at Terrorists

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Laughing at Terrorists

The film Four Lions reminds us that sometimes bravery is just flipping the Bad Guy the bird.

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Here I was, marveling at the fact this film must've been released in Australia before America, then you explain why and suddenly there doesn't seem to be much point in marveling.

Anyways, thanks for the read as always. You make some interesting points about "edgey" comedies and you've made me regret not seeing this film when it was in cinemas.

I'll say here what I said in the comments about your review: I really hope there is comedic surgery in this one. I would be really disappointed if the film apologizes in any way. Let it be brutal and hilarious. As an American, I say make more films that diminish terrorism and deflate the image of terrorists. I'll definitely check this one out. Might go alone first though. There are veterans in my family and they might not be ready yet. Thanks Bob. Love your work boss.

"People who can laugh at treachery are unafraid."

I read that somewhere and now I can't place it...

Anyway, I kind of knew the "too soon" brigade would try to bar the film's release in North America. I need to see this movie some time.

"Too soon" arguments are really "never" arguments when it comes to terrorism - people need to accept the fact that no one in the world/US will ever again be able to pretend that terrorism is something that happens elsewhere. A tactic so damned cheap and easy - easy enough for even the most simple-minded - will never be fully suppressed. Bravery comes from accepting that fact and still laughing (both in general and at the backwards rednecks of all cultures who stoop to terrorism).

might watch it....if i get the chance.

i've seen four lions
and as a brit maybe i appreciate it more than anybody else looking in on it
but personally i felt that the film never shys away from what it is
it never tries to demonise or alternatively to justify terrorists
all it does it humanise them
and create a bizarrely ridiculous yet believable and engaging story
in a hilarious manner

love moviebob

"Diffusing warheads"... What do you do; hold up a frosted pane of glass at them?

Sorry - any typo doubling as a precious, lovely bad pun will unconditionally send my attention bouncing every which direction. :P

I just thought since musilms(what ever you call the crazy ones i know not all muslims are cranky old men with explosives(but all muslims take offence to stuff really easily)) blow everything out of proportion(no pun intended) they might bomb what ever studio made this film or the publishers or whatever.

The story at the beginning did indeed make me laugh, and reminded me of probably my all-time favourite Darwin Award:

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin1999-38.html

In the right time and place, making fun of the enemy can indeed be a good way of bringing them down.

This is why I don't take the terrorists seriously, all the good ones have blown themselves up by now, all that's left are the bumbling nincompoops who will more than likely end up blowing up Osama's cave sometime in the near future.

I think the only problem I have with Chris Morris, is given that he built his reputation on satire and making up utter lies and getting others to repeat them, whenever I hear an anecdote from him, I first assume it's entirely false.

VonBrewskie:
I'll say here what I said in the comments about your review: I really hope there is comedic surgery in this one. I would be really disappointed if the film apologizes in any way. Let it be brutal and hilarious. As an American, I say make more films that diminish terrorism and deflate the image of terrorists. I'll definitely check this one out. Might go alone first though. There are veterans in my family and they might not be ready yet. Thanks Bob. Love your work boss.

I can and went in the UK long ago and I can 100% reassure you there are NO apologies. Any that would up would have been shoehorned by the US distributor, not the original film-makers.

I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Jeff Dunham's Achmed The Dead Terrorist. Granted, it's very broad humor and not based in real human behavior like "Lions", but I'm pretty sure it was this same "tearing down of powerful image through satire" that's made him so successful.

I never heard of this film until today

I shall have to check it out on DVD someday

I smell a birthday present!

vid87:
I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Jeff Dunham's Achmed The Dead Terrorist. Granted, it's very broad humor and not based in real human behavior like "Lions", but I'm pretty sure it was this same "tearing down of powerful image through satire" that's made him so successful.

The only problem is that it tends to be more or less based of a quote than actual humor mocking terrorists. The first, "Silence! I Kill You!" was funny, but Dunham plays it too much too often, and now it's a popular quote, not a thought provoking satirical attempt at humor.

However, I'm going to bring up my "Comedic Terrorist" retort, and I'm sure no one will mention it because of the way it was represented by the writer/Director, it really won't count, is Uwe Boll's Postal .

It's not a very good movie by any means, even though Boll did try something that was just too relying on bad jokes and not actual satire, but one can't deny that the Taliban inspiration in the film certainly isn't something of the same thing that Moviebob was talking about, even if, again, Boll's sense of humor wasn't biting enough.

A good review, and one I have heard a little bit about (Big thanks to IFC for that one), and it's one I do want to see.

Hi,

How do you know that the character is Omar's actual brother? I thought `brother' was just the way they referred to each other, not unlike in "Malcolm X". Am I missing something?

I agree with Bob, too soon doesn't really cut it, just don't see it folks. That said I found the film to be unfunny but then again I watch most films on my own so comedies obviously aren't as good that way.

Somehow, this reminds me of opening scene in Uwe Boll's Postal. It had nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but it was comedy gold.

The inept terrorist with a taste for western culture has been throughouly explored by the absolutely superb Monkey Dust.

That being said, Morris is a genius. Brass Eye is kind of like the Onion on smack. As surreal as it is funny.

Funny: I saw "An American Carol" in the theatres. Everyone in the theatre was laughing through most of the flick. There were some parts that were wincingly bad, sure --- also true of most Zucker flicks (even "Airplane" had some parts that dragged, being way overwrought). It seems to come with their brand of humor.

Then I saw what low ratings it was getting on RottenTomatoes, and began reading through the reviews from the professionals.

I was surprised to find that most had apparently not bothered to see the film. Some actually said they hadn't. Others described things that didn't appear in the film at all, apparently on the assumption that they would, given the film's obvious right-ward leanings. Still others seemed to take their cues directly from other reviewers, sometimes making the same verbatim statements about various scenes.

All in all, I found the film preachy and predictable, interspersed with genuine laughs when it wasn't trying to make a serious point (cue to all filmmakers: being serious with comedy requires the self-deprecatory skills of a Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert). It didn't end well, though --- with Leslie Neilsen (the Narrator) dropping dead of a heart attack, but still clearly breathing during his death scene. Just plain amateurish, there.

Ironically, a better film about terrorism comedy is "Postal" by none other than Uwe Boll --- whether he meant it to be or not, it's easily one of the best flicks he's ever done, outdoing the Zuckers with similar humor and a much darker twist.

Richard Reid, the shoe bomber...forgot the detonator so he started burning his C4 sneaker on a plane. Facepalm. Real life is more absurd than movies.

I haven't seen it, yet. It's nice to have a movie explore some of the more absurd aspects of terrorism and the people involved in it. The mundane, especially, comes off as strange and peculiar.

Every evil organization ultimately has to suffer with the myriad of tiny administrative details , mundane chores, and bureaucratic nonsense that spawns the likes of The Office and such. Consider North Vietnam changing it's time zone, which in turn changed which side of midnight the New Moon happened and, in turn made Tet happen on a different day which caused whole army units to attack on the wrong day. It's at once hilarious and horrifying and comforting to pull back the veil on these deadly serious organizations and find out they have just many problems, hangups, and screw-ups as we do.

I think that the article didn't end the () area in the first paragraph under the first quote of the second page. Just wanted to point that out as I'm insane with things like that when I notice them.

Anyways, now I want to check this movie out. Too bad it isn't showing anywhere near me. I guess that is one of the main drawbacks of living in the middle of nowhere though.

I still haven't seen it despite being a huge fan of Chris and living about 2 miles from Shefeild. I know it caused some waves in Britain.

As for him not being peeved at bad US city planing. Come to Britan we have towns and citys so old that they are messes/mazes and will stay like that forever due to historical buildings/areas.

Grey Carter:
The inept terrorist with a taste for western culture has been throughouly explored by the absolutely superb Monkey Dust.

That show is fantastic. So underappreciated...

Grey Carter:
The inept terrorist with a taste for western culture has been throughouly explored by the absolutely superb Monkey Dust.

That being said, Morris is a genius. Brass Eye is kind of like the Onion on smack. As surreal as it is funny.

That's the show I instantly compare Four Lions to. Dunno why Monkey Dust is so unknown, even in Britain, I brought it up at a party recently and no-one there knew who it was, no-one at all! I think the slightly less silly approach of the film is worth having, though.

It does seem like everything Morris touches turns to gold. Some fans don't like Nathan Barley, but I love that show personally.

Inept terrorism was covered in the rather good (by Uwe Boll standards) Postal. I kinda want to watch Four Lions simply because it seems that a lot of the material that is covered seems stunningly close to the subplots of the terrorists in Postal.

As much as I feel apprehensive about things like this, and understand the pain that terrorists have caused and continue to cause both in the United States, but also elsewhere in the world....i feel like this is a step in the right direction. As long as it's done tastefully and doesn't try to provide excuses for these killers, I'm fine with it.

These fools warp and destroy a faith that could be so much more through their horrible acts and attempted killings of innocent people. In some ways, the best thing to do is NOT live in fear of these evil people, but instead laugh in their faces. That's EXACTLY what they don't expect and I say we stick it to these bastards in any way we can. So F**K YOU terrorists, love me.

blanksmyname:
Here I was, marveling at the fact this film must've been released in Australia before America, then you explain why and suddenly there doesn't seem to be much point in marveling.

Anyways, thanks for the read as always. You make some interesting points about "edgey" comedies and you've made me regret not seeing this film when it was in cinemas.

Ninja'd. Damn.

hecticpicnic:
I just thought since musilms(what ever you call the crazy ones i know not all muslims are cranky old men with explosives(but all muslims take offence to stuff really easily)) blow everything out of proportion(no pun intended) they might bomb what ever studio made this film or the publishers or whatever.

Yes, I would hope Muslims would take offense that you lumped them in with the most murderous, idiotic, and cruelest of so called followers of their religion. The term you are looking for are jihadist, or someone who seeks to commit holy war against enemies of the Islamic faith. That came off pretty harsh, but America has a serious problem right now distinguishing Mulims from terrorist, and we are suffering as a society for it.

tyriless:

hecticpicnic:
I just thought since musilms(what ever you call the crazy ones i know not all muslims are cranky old men with explosives(but all muslims take offence to stuff really easily)) blow everything out of proportion(no pun intended) they might bomb what ever studio made this film or the publishers or whatever.

Yes, I would hope Muslims would take offense that you lumped them in with the most murderous, idiotic, and cruelest of so called followers of their religion. The term you are looking for are jihadist, or someone who seeks to commit holy war against enemies of the Islamic faith. That came off pretty harsh, but America has a serious problem right now distinguishing Mulims from terrorist, and we are suffering as a society for it.

Unfortunately, it's exactly what a fair chunk of the news media want people to think, which is why they tend to use the word 'muslim' when they mean 'extremist muslim'.

This is a fairly typical example of a front page after an extremist stabbed a politician who was in favour of the Iraq war:

image

Now, I know headlines have limited space, but even so, it's effectively saying muslims in general hate Britain, rather than 'a few extremists hate everyone not like them'. She was a woman, yet 'women call for death to Britain' probably wouldn't have been an acceptable headline.

It's factually accurate while being entirely untruthful.

Essentially, extremists of any kind, are generally naive or foolish people persuaded to do stupid things by a charismatic leader (who is still foolish and naive, but good at drawing others in).

Muslims are mostly not terrorists in the same way that the local church fete is filled with different people to the Westboro Baptist Church.

Of course, the more moderate muslims who speak out and say 'those guys are mental, they're not true muslims, they're just nutters with beards is all', the harder it will be for the gutter press to make them the scapegoat.

This text review is much better than the video review.
While the video review did more or less capture the barest of bones of the plot, it's characterizations and connotations were way off.

As for the limited release, it looks like its playing in one theatre: http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=7892

If its playing somewhere else, please do tell.

Sabrestar:
The story at the beginning did indeed make me laugh, and reminded me of probably my all-time favourite Darwin Award:

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin1999-38.html

In the right time and place, making fun of the enemy can indeed be a good way of bringing them down.

My favourite Darwin award is this one:
http://www.darwinawards.com/personal/personal2002-34.html

OT: It's not too soon, no way. We need to stop treating these organisations as serious organisations with great potential, sure they do, but not nearly as much as they want us to believe.

SenseOfTumour:

tyriless:

hecticpicnic:
I just thought since musilms(what ever you call the crazy ones i know not all muslims are cranky old men with explosives(but all muslims take offence to stuff really easily)) blow everything out of proportion(no pun intended) they might bomb what ever studio made this film or the publishers or whatever.

Yes, I would hope Muslims would take offense that you lumped them in with the most murderous, idiotic, and cruelest of so called followers of their religion. The term you are looking for are jihadist, or someone who seeks to commit holy war against enemies of the Islamic faith. That came off pretty harsh, but America has a serious problem right now distinguishing Mulims from terrorist, and we are suffering as a society for it.

Unfortunately, it's exactly what a fair chunk of the news media want people to think, which is why they tend to use the word 'muslim' when they mean 'extremist muslim'.

This is a fairly typical example of a front page after an extremist stabbed a politician who was in favour of the Iraq war:

image

Now, I know headlines have limited space, but even so, it's effectively saying muslims in general hate Britain, rather than 'a few extremists hate everyone not like them'. She was a woman, yet 'women call for death to Britain' probably wouldn't have been an acceptable headline.

It's factually accurate while being entirely untruthful.

Essentially, extremists of any kind, are generally naive or foolish people persuaded to do stupid things by a charismatic leader (who is still foolish and naive, but good at drawing others in).

Muslims are mostly not terrorists in the same way that the local church fete is filled with different people to the Westboro Baptist Church.

Of course, the more moderate muslims who speak out and say 'those guys are mental, they're not true muslims, they're just nutters with beards is all', the harder it will be for the gutter press to make them the scapegoat.

No, as much as I hate to admit it, their leaders are quite intelligent. You assume that their leaders actually believe in their own cause, but I don't think they do. They just convince stupid peopl to kill themselves by claiming their religion says so to further their real goal. And what is that real goal you ask? To gain power, pure and simple.

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